He-said/She-said reporting in its purest form

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Take a look at this New York Times article about health care reform; you may never find a clearer illustration of the media's tendency to simply type up what a variety of people say -- omitting any effort to determine which statements are true and which are false -- and call it reporting.

Here's a condensed version of the article that demonstrates how it's just one long he-said/she-said, on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other-hand litany of things people have said, with no effort made to assess the validity of the claims:

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut on Sunday urged the Obama administration to consider postponing overhauling the health care system and instead work on smaller chunks of the issue until the economy improves.

...

Also Sunday, Senator John McCain said that one way for Democrats and Republicans to reach a compromise would be for Mr. Obama to abandon a government-run insurance program for the nation's 49 million uninsured.

...

Last week, Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said that a government-run plan was not essential to an overhaul, a concession to United States senators who say such a plan could not win the backing of a majority of the crucial Senate Finance Committee.

...

Senator Charles E. Schumer, the New York Democrat and a member of the Finance committee, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Obama "believes strongly in a public option."

...

But on the same show, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican and a member of the same finance panel, predicted that "tens of millions of people will go into the government plan" against their will.

...

But on CBS's "Face the Nation," Howard B. Dean, former governor of Vermont and former chair of the Democratic National Committee, said a government program would be far cheaper than any private alternatives.

...

Senator McCain said President Obama is as much to blame as Republicans for the paralysis on health care legislation because "the president has not come forward with a plan of his own."

...

Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, explained on "Face the Nation" why language about paying for end-of-life counseling had to be taken out of a health care bill the committee was reviewing in March.

...

On Fox News Sunday, Jim Towey, director of faith-based initiatives during the administration of George W. Bush, said end-of-life counseling is already taking place for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

....

Responding on the same show, Tammy Duckworth, an assistant secretary of veteran affairs, insisted the booklet was indeed pulled off the shelves in 2007 and that the Obama administration has been revising it and telling medical practitioners not to use it.

And guess what? It took two people to write that article.

Posted In
Health Care, Health Care Reform
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.